• Jack Cummins
    2.3k
    There are several mysteries which seem essential to the philosophical quest; the existence of God, free will and, life after death. These seem to be central to philosophy. Endless books have been written on these subjects. However, no one seems to have come up with any clear answers, and it seems to me that they remain as unsolved mysteries. We all contemplate these aspects of life, but it does seem that there are no definitive answers. Perhaps the whole aspect of mysteries is central to philosophy and what keeps us searching. Are they unfathomable mysteries, beyond human understanding?

  • Manuel
    638
    I don't know if videos are allowed instead of entire arguments, but I think this 7 minute (or 3:30 if you go double the speed :D) clip presents the two sides of the argument rather well:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSQwBEL4mfQ

    If it's not adequate, please delete.
  • 180 Proof
    3.5k
    There are several mysteries which seem essential to the philosophical quest; the existence of God, free will and, life after death.Jack Cummins
    Explain what you mean by "mysteries".

    I, for one, don't find any of them "essential" (though, yes of course, they're perennially recurring topics). When put as questions, I answer antitheism, compatibilism, and nonsense (like 'north of the north pole' or 'before the beginning'), respectively, as consequences of the more prosaic, pragmatic, and indeed "essential" philosophical concern of how over above what I/we think (e.g. dialectical rationality (PNC sans PSR), semantic (discursive) clarity, reflective inquiry/practice (agency), epoché, etc) as a way of life ... rather than a "quest".

    Apparently, I suppose, our metaphilosophical conceptions differ.

    Churchland 1, Chomsky 0. (Not like old comrade Noam to double-talk out of his ass. :sweat:) Thanks for posting.
  • DingoJones
    2.2k


    None of those are unanswerable. The question of whether god exists is answered, its just people who believe in god and certain types of fence sitters still carry on regardless, attached for whatever reason to the indefensible believer position.
    Free will is a bit trickier I’ll grant you but I feel like its mostly a problem of definition of free will. If its defined as something outside deterministic forces, cause and effect but if the definition isnt magical and accounts for deterministic forces then sure, free will exists. As Hitchens used to say, we have free will becuase we have no choice
    Lastly, life after death. Like god, this has been asked and answered. No, we have no good reasons to think there is life after death.
    There is certainly things beyond human understanding, but none of the things you mentioned are. All understandable, all have fairly clear answers. Whether or not those answers can overcome indoctrinated belief or strong emotional bias is another matter.
  • ghostlycutter
    65
    Yes, all philosophy is solvable.

    God doesn't exist, God is nothing without Satan, together they resemble good and evil 'most-high powers". The most high power in the likeness of God is a shape ordinance that certified and harmonizes all existing things, making sure no-one randomly and forever experiences star-like heat, and so forth. Such as the fact you die if you reach a certain pain threshold. The second most like God is a machine grouping that moderates rank in life, completely obidient to the shape ordinance or 'good'. There is, and has never been God. Creators of simulations exist but they aren't significant in a God like way.

    Yes there is life after death unless you're on extinction row for life crimes. Death is an instant transfer to a previous sim state where eternal life can be envisioned easily; this universe is quite unique and distant from the prior simulation. The umbilical cord is quite a drop, from a simple spawning, from out of a light womb.

    Sometimes you are free and at others you're not, sometimes you're both free and not free. I didn't have a choice but to press submit to post this, nor did I choose the manner of which I could say the words. I am a mere switch, and run command.

    Though these answers are brief, they are accurate to some degree I assure you. The same applies to all rational philosophy. Sometimes you have to base answers on predictions, such as with eggs, I know an animal may hatch but if it's a new egg we've never experienced, I can't prove that. Yet I will side with my guess.
  • javi2541997
    595
    Are they unfathomable mysteries, beyond human understanding?Jack Cummins

    I think yes and this is why philosophy is so interesting. I wish these topics will never been discovered or proven because it is amazing the huge number of authors have written about all of these topics. To be honest I even think that it make us feel fulfilled and happy.
    Happy because it is good questioning and debating that is worthy for us.
    When you look at the sky in night you feel surprised of how vast is the universe with all the starts and planets. Some would say is Big Bang, Physics, God, or even Aliens. We are free to debate of whatever despite probably we will never be able to answer some questions.
    One element I like the most is the Stoneage in UK. When I see it I think: What were the thoughts of the thinkers back in the day and what did they answer?
  • James Riley
    765
    Are they unfathomable mysteries, beyond human understanding?Jack Cummins

    Maybe. Apparently. I mean, my understanding of God is such that he must necessarily be easily capable of accounting for the the absence of himself. That, of course, runs afoul of man's desire to keep God stuck to logic, like a mouse to a glue trap. And really, what sort of God could not use logic for shit paper at his every whim, and then toss into the cosmic toilet? So, because we have made a god of logic, we call it a mystery when our god won't answer our questions. But the intuitive and counterintuitive person has long known that something may be, or is indeed true, even if he doesn't "get it."

    Perhaps the whole aspect of mysteries is central to philosophy and what keeps us searching.Jack Cummins

    I love that every answer opens more questions than answers provided: It's God telling us that our march is getting us further from the truth. There is import in the march itself, though, regardless of direction. But if someone decides to march backward, to the beginning, that might provide something enlightening.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I speak of mysteries, but each of us has a different understanding, and for some people such question are solvable and for others they are not. Here the biggest controversies lie in our midst and I don't think that there are any easy answers.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I am not saying that you are wrong, but other people may see everything from an entirely different perspective. Having conversed with so many different viewpoints, I am just trying to make sense of it all.
  • 180 Proof
    3.5k
    So the questions and/or their answers are controversial. Apparently, whether or not the earth is flat is 'popularly' controversial too. Big whup. The 'what we (ought to) think' is, y'know, mostly a symptom of the 'how we (ought to) think' which is why mass-education is focused on training regurgitive rote of "names places dates & figures" and not on discerning knowledge, or meaning, from information and thereby creatively applying this to bettering one's life. This is why Socrates had to be condemned to death: how to think is dangerous because it eventually leads to vomiting-up all of that 'what to think' forced-fed by schools & churches. Such "controversies", as you say due to "different understandings", Jack, are superficial in comparison to the pathological controversy (SCANDAL, HAZARDS) of pedagogic–indoctrinated–normative mass-cultivation of misunderstanding (i.e. credulity, folly & stupidity) in individuals. Traditionally philosophy opposes this and sophistry facilitates – even defends – it.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    Of course, I would prefer that we come up with the best rational answers. However, it appears to me that these complex questions come shrouded in a veil of mystique, going back into the distance of philosophical questioning. I would certainly like to break through into greater clarity of thinking. So, I would like to see thinking which strives towards demystifying these ideas, but not about shallow attempts to answer the most perplexing questions.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k
    I do agree that ' 'every answer opens more questions' . So, where do we go next? Do we have to just come up with infinite questions?
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I agree that 'indoctrinated belied' and 'emotional bias' are important and complex. However, even putting those aside, I am not sure that we can solve all the mysteries.
  • James Riley
    765
    So, where do we go next?Jack Cummins

    Just keep going down the rabbit hole. While we should always go forward, as is our inclination, someone should go back and see if we didn't miss a turn somewhere. Heaven forbid we should miss a line of inquiry somewhere along the line.

    Do we have to just come up with infinite questions?Jack Cummins

    Yes. Although they seem to present without a whole lot of "coming up with" on our part.

    If life has any meaning at all, it is simply showing up and participating. If you are not on the field, and you sit in the stands to watch, well, I guess someone needs to hold them down so they don't float off into space. But all the fun honing takes place on the field. I assume that is why TPF is here. That, and the fact that we like to hear ourselves talk (or see ourselves type, as the case may be).

    Edited to add:

    "In itself life is insipid, because it is a simple "being there." So, for man, existing becomes a poetic task, like the playwright's or the novelist's: that of inventing a plot for his existence, giving it a character which will make it both suggestive and appealing. ... ... serious examination should lead us to realize how distasteful existence in the universe must be for a creature - man, for example - who finds it essential to divert himself."

    Jose Ortega y'Gasset, Meditations on Hunting. [I'm a fan]
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I do believe that 'partipating" is important rather than a detached searching. I certainly don't wish to give up asking meaningful questions, perplexed by mystery. We are in this life together and a better understanding seems worthwhile, and it may not even be as mysterious as some people believe.
  • 180 Proof
    3.5k
    I speak of mysteries ...Jack Cummins
    ... by which you mean

    • unanswerable questions? (conceptual)
    • unsolvable problems? (epistemological)
    • inexplicable, incomprehensible, ineffable, beyond the limits of reason? (metaphysical / axiological)
    • questions which also call into question those who ask them? (existential)
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I notice your edit about the 'distacefulnress' of existence. So, one question is whether we are trying to construct ways of making sense of this, although I would imagine that some of find life more distaceful than others. It is not as if life gives us equal measures of joy and this may play a part in the explanations we find, to make sense of it all. I certainly know that my perspective shifts according to my personal circumstances and degree of happiness.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    You are quite right to distinguish conceptual, epistemological, metaphysical and existential aspects of exploration. We probably all juxtapose these uniquely. However, I do believe that there has to be some way of going beyond the subjective dimension. I am not saying that there are clear objective truths, but perhaps there are certain parameters. I don't think that this is new, but our perspective is restricted if it is only about finding a viewpoint which is satisfactory from our psychological point of reference.
  • James Riley
    765
    I certainly know that my perspective shifts according to my personal circumstances and degree of happiness.Jack Cummins

    Agreed. I think part of y'Gassett's point was not that hunting is a distraction, but, on the contrary, hunting is life. It is those who don't "live" who must find reasons for it. I could go on and on about his arguments about the hunt but, I think the upshot is this: Evolution has provided us with tools that we often turn our back on, to our own detriment, and loss of happiness. While it might be argued that such is part and parcel of evolution too, that doesn't mean the leaving off of what we've "earned" is going to be as enjoyable as immersing ourselves in it.

    I think getting dirty is not unlike the arts, and love, and all the other areas of life where we feel "beside ourselves". Just as some writers and poets and performers often feel like they are nothing more than a conduit through which something greater, ineffable, has chosen to move; so to living in grace with the tools given, and using them, is what is meant to be. And that would include difficulty. "The floors're all sagging with boards a suffering from not being used anymore." Waylon Jennings.

    Edited to add: As I've opined elsewhere, who is to say that when we feel beside ourselves that is really not ourselves? And our normal state is the aberration, the insanity, the outside or beside?
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    Yes, I believe that 'getting dirty' in the sense of going beyond the pleasing perspective in trying to find a correct picture of reality may be necessary. It may be that truth is not equatable with a perspective which suits our aesthetics. We may have to take on board the ugly and unfamiliar in our grasp for truth. Of course, many are not prepared to go in this direction. We cannot tell anyone what to think or believe, but analysis may reveal what perspectives are shallow and inadequate for understanding. It probably is about all of us being prepared to go outside of our familiar territories, into the unknown.
  • 180 Proof
    3.5k
    So by "mysteries" you mean all of those, for want of a better term, kinds? If so, your OP is too vague or senseless.

    I guess me not being a "Jungian" to any degree – I abhor psychotherapy, like psychoanalysis & behaviorism, and any other psychological practice which is not rooted in contemporary brain science or cognitive neuroscience (I've done graduate work in cognitve psychology and respect approaches like CBT immensely) – the notion of "finding a viewpoint which is satisfactory from our psychological point of reference" is anathema to me as specimen of pseudo-philosophy (i.e. "psychologism" as per Husserl).
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I do agree that my post may be too vague. But, as far as I can see we are in a Tower of Babel anyway. I can empathise with your dislike of psychotherapy, and do prefer reading philosophy. Really, I don't like being told what to think at all, and prefer to read widely and come to the most informed conclusions, even though I am not sure that there are clear answers. Sometimes, it seems that it is more about dismissing those which have obvious weaknesses.
  • Saphsin
    312
    Looking at the exchange, I am quite confused at what the thread is about. Are you posing skepticism of resolution of philosophical quandaries (progress in the field of philosophy) because there is less social consensus on these issues in a similar way as done in the sciences/mathematics?
  • Saphsin
    312
    I thought Dennett & Pigliucci both had a pretty good response to Chomsky's mysterian argument here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tH3AnYyAI8&t=5010s
  • Banno
    12k
    There are several mysteries which seem essential to the philosophical quest;Jack Cummins

    As pointed out by others, god doesn't exist, the notion of free will is confused, and when you die, you cease to exist. These mooted philosophical mysteries are not so mysterious.

    But to the general question, philosophical "mysteries" are mostly little word games on the edges of the world. They are annoying but for the most part irrelevant.
  • Manuel
    638


    Interesting answers. Thanks for sharing. :)
  • Tom Storm
    971
    I guess me not being a "Jungian" to any degree – I abhor psychotherapy, like psychoanalysis & behaviorism, and any other psychological practice which is not rooted in contemporary brain science or cognitive neuroscience (I've done graduate work in cognitve psychology and respect approaches like CBT immensely) – the notion of "finding a viewpoint which is satisfactory from our psychological point of reference" is anathema to me as specimen of pseudo-philosophy (i.e. "psychologism" as per Husserl).180 Proof

    :clap:
  • TheMadFool
    9.4k
    existence of God, free will and, life after deathJack Cummins

    First, to attempt to prove god's existence is a waste of time for the simple reason that an immaterial being can't be proven in material terms. That would be like trying to prove penises exist with a woman.

    Second, free will is real to the extent that there's a difference between giving someone your money when you feel like it and doing the same at gun point.

    Third, life after death and again the same issue that was a stumbling block in re proving god rears its ugly head. The immaterial soul, that which allegedly survives death, can't be proven from within a material setting.
  • Jack Cummins
    2.3k

    I am not sure that your arguments work. Proving that penises exist is so much easier than talking about God, because there is clear evidence. As for free will, the idea of giving money freely or at gun point is too extreme, because most of the real life scenarios would be far more subtle.
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